Yogurt comes in many brands and flavors and can serve as a snack or as breakfast, but one thing is certain: it is very healthy for us. The following summary of mine came from the article for my second published paper review (as referenced below). It entails all the nutritional and health benefits of yogurt, some you probably never heard of. I chose this topic because I am just as obsessed with yogurt as I am with caffeine. Happy reading!
Mckinley, Michelle C. “The nutrition and health benefits of yoghurt.” International Journal of Dairy Technology 58, no. 1 (2005): 1-12, http://www.aseanfood.info/Articles/11024970.pdf (accessed 13th April, 2013).
Yogurt is a fermented milk product that contains many nutrients needed by the human body, especially the large amounts of calcium. It is produced by the lactic acid fermentation of milk by addition of a starter culture containing Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus. Studies show that by using different microorganisms for fermentation, the variety of textures, flavors, consistencies and health attributes that we see today can be made. Yogurt has nutritional similarities to milk, such as high levels of proteins, vitamins (A, B12, D) and minerals (Calcium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Magnesium and Zinc) . As a diary product, yogurt provides important nutrients in significant amounts in relation to their energy and fat content, making them a nutrient-dense food.
Yogurt contains the enzyme β-galactosidase which hydrolyses lactose and therefore improves the conditions known as lactose intolerance. Experiments were also carried out to determine if milk products, such as yogurt, increased the possibility of weight gain. The results of these experiments proved that the calcium in these milk products helps reduce weight and fat in the trunk region of the human body.
It has also been proven that the non-pathogenic bacteria used in yogurt, when ingested, survive the harsh conditions of the digestive tract and colonizes certain areas of the gut and provide the body with resistance to disease and promotes normal intestinal function. These probiotics also help in preventing and treating diarrhea that was caused by pathogenic bacteria, viruses and antibiotics. Studies have shown that the consumption of yogurt increases cytokine production, phagocytic activity, antibody production, T-cell function and natural killer cell activity. This just shows that the probiotics in yogurt help increase immunity in the body.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) are both characterized by intestinal inflammation and abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea. Probiotics found in yogurt are thought to interrupt these immuno-inflammatory responses and calm the inflammation of the intestinal tract, however further research needs to be done to confirm this theory.
Because of its health and nutritional benefits, there may be and increased production in the yogurt industry in the years to come.